All travellers entering the Bailiwick from countries like the UK will have to undergo a mandatory day 13 test from today before being released from isolation.
If a person does not take the test and receive a negative result they will have to isolate for 21 days.
The new regulation, passed by the Civil Contingencies Authority, is in response to the more transmissible variation of Covid 19 detected in parts of the UK.
There are four active cases of Covid-19 in the Guernsey, one of whom is in hospital.
All four cases were detected in travellers coming into the Bailiwick.
Three of those patients were asymptomatic and infection was detected on day 13 tests.
Effective immediately, those arriving from Category 4 regions and countries will be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a day 13 test. If they decline to take a day 13 test they will have to self-isolate for 21 days.
Those who choose to self-isolate with someone who has travelled to the Bailiwick will also need to adhere to the same requirement for testing on day 13 or self-isolating for 21 days, even if they did not themselves travel.
These changes are applicable to all those currently in self-isolation and who have not yet reached day 13.
Any breach of the Bailiwick’s self-isolation rules can result in a fine of up to £10,000.
Children under 12 who travel from a category 4 country or region will also have to be tested at day 13 if they intend to return to a school, pre-school, childcare or nursery setting.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, said:
“Our border restrictions have proven extremely effective to date in allowing us to stay in control of the virus and avoid the need for any on-island restrictions. But we must continue to be vigilant to any change in the nature of the threat posed by the coronavirus. This new strain appears to be significant change and one that requires stricter measures to ensure we are detecting and managing any cases that arrive through travel into the Bailiwick.”
Those who travelled into the Bailiwick on the 8th December and have already completed their 14 days of self-isolation, and who may not have opted for a day 13 test, are being advised that a test is still available to them. Public Health Services would encourage any
such travellers to get in contact and arrange a test to ensure they are not positive and putting those they come in contact with at risk.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, urged people when isolating to take it seriously and not ‘adapt’ the rules for thier own household.
“We’re still learning more about the new variant, but the evidence so far is enough that we know it needs to be taken seriously. Even one case brought into the Bailiwick that isn’t detected could pose a risk, and these new rules will help ensure we don’t find ourselves in that situation.
“Now more than ever we also really need people to follow the self-isolation rules to the letter. If you’re self-isolating in the same household as others who are not self- isolating you must follow the guidance on gov.gg/coronavirus and ensure you do not mix, and that you very carefully manage things like shared toilet facilities to avoid any possible spread of the virus. It is not acceptable to cut corners or come up with your own ‘workarounds’, this will only put you and others at risk, I cannot stress the importance of this enough.”